Aurora and Zephyr

LL 3591


Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1845, this work is a fine example of Etty's mastery of colour and sophistication of design. The goddess of the dawn advances into the picture, her progress impeded by her son, Zephyr, the god of the west wind who was traditionally depicted with small translucent wings and garlands of flowers. A passage from Milton's poem, 'L'Allegro', may have inspired the subject, which is uncommon in painting. The design recalls a number of Turner's late circular works, which are also concerned with the opposition of light and shade, and it may have been owned by one of Turner's great patrons, HAJ Munro of Novar.